How to Improve Presentation and Public Speaking Skills (for Young Entrepreneurs)
The art of indulging in conversation is equally important as listening and putting your own point. Also, if a useful conversation is not done intently, a meaningful contribution is not at all possible.
There has always been a cut-throat competition in the corporate world. With digitization, the situation has become more fierce. Every aspiring and successful entrepreneur is hungry to find ways to build a better product and service to maintain their credibility in the market.
Besides developing intact business skills, an entrepreneur needs to acquire strong communication and presentation skills as well. To give yourself an edge, having these skills will increase your success chances manifold times. Customers find those products more lucrative which are delivered with great presentation. Knowing the business skills is not enough, you must know how to use them in your presentation and while communicating with the audience to drive higher sales rate.
Attending regular social events is highly imperative for young entrepreneurs. These are horse-powered arenas where you get to meet the riders of industrial roads. Get a chance to rub your shoulder with industry specialists, influencers and investors. In my recommendation, don’t just attend, but build a long-lasting impression and make yourself noticeable, indeed.
How to Build an Impression?
It goes without saying that many crucial business deals happen during these events rather than in an office or board room. To make a mark, here are a few points that you should keep in mind.
1. Stay aware of the latest news and current affairs
Indulge in a habit of reading daily. Successful entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates always insist on people read something valuable daily. You become informed about the news and views of different people on a topic. This gives you a point to start a conversation with other people in the room. You get the golden chance to build an effective impression.
2. Enhance your Business Knowledge through Introspection
You may find it strange, but when it comes to explaining one’s own business, many entrepreneurs fail to discuss it in depth. The niche you chose to build your business upon must be broad enough to do research on it from your end. You must be aware of the business statistics, it should be on your fingertips. Your business is going in the right direction if you are aware of every aspect of its development and future anticipations.
3. Become an expert in Your Business Niche
Develop curiosity to know every detail of your business niche. The co-entrepreneurs would admire the knowledge and take your work seriously. A highly knowledgeable person is well-received by the people and has a very high potential to make others work for her/him.
4. Develop a Sense of Humor
You should know the art of how to make people feel relaxed with you. Developing a sense of humor will make you reachable for other professionals. To kick start a conversation, throw a light-hearted joke based on the latest trends or anything else others may find amusing. You must have watched Ted talks and other corporate events on online services such as YouTube, understand how the speakers persuade the audience to get indulged with their speech through their humorous tricks.
5. Don’t rush, have patience
Being a young entrepreneur, the curiosity of getting yourself heard in a short time is natural, but, sadly, it is not effective. Build patience. No one likes to work with people who show-off or have a know-it-all attitude. The art of building a relationship and maintaining a strong conversation involves listening practice as much it is about establishing your point. Take pauses so that your words are not mixed up and the audience gets breaks to understand your point deeply.
6. Smart Introductions
Don’t just bombard your thoughts about yourself to others in one go. That is not a good way to introduce yourself and make you sound more like self-centered. Start by suggesting a perspective, it is more natural and approachable. Moreover, maintain eye contact with your audience.
How to Deliver Your Speech?
1. Begin with a Purpose
Explain to others what brought you here and what’s the purpose of your conversation. End your discussion with your purpose. In the mid use everything to support your purpose and make it meaningful. When you clearly state your subject of conversation, the audience readily acts.
2. Know your Audience’s mindset
Everyone has different perspectives on the same thing. It is important to understand what your audience think and what they care about. Make sure what you tell them is worthy enough for them to hear. Focus on what they wish to learn, if your experience can help them grow and educate, you have the chance to be added in their business priority list.
3. Connect with Your Audience through Stories
Stories make people believe the fact, which they would consider rather just a statement. Add stories to your facts, it helps them connect deeply. If you have personal stories, then the audience will engage deeply with your words. For example, if you are building an oil startup company, help them know how you bought the tools through debt and worked days and nights to make a list of rightful resources. Just an example, not so good, but I hope you understand what I am trying to convey.
4. Know your Instincts
Evaluate what makes you more involved during speeches. For most people, it is the enthusiasm of the audience. Spend 5 to 10 minutes of your initial conversation in introducing yourself and asking others to tell about themselves. It generates a connection which helps you to maintain their interest. Try to use their names and indulge in their interests.
5. Welcome the Stress
Always remember the most fluent speakers also get nerve breakdown while going for public speaking. It is natural. It is human nature, you can’t run away from it. Indeed, if you go in deep, then you’ll realize how good it is to feel a little nervous. You should know how to avail this to make your speech better. When a person feels nervous, they experience an adrenaline rush in their veins similar to how a professional sportsperson may experience. Channelise this feeling to deliver an impactful speech.
6. Accept the Distraction
Once you are done preparing with your content, get ready to add some distraction to it. This is to test your preparedness. Switch on a TV or rehearse while others are busy chatting loud on the phone or in person. Anything that makes your work more challenging.
7. Know your Style
Your speaking style depends on the type of events you’ve to attend. Reading a prepared speech does its job pretty well to a level. But make sure to go back and forth so you are not staring down at it the whole time. On the other hand, many prefer to go with notes even I use notes during my speech. While many speakers are well versed with memorizing things and verbalizing it, in the same manner, it has to be, I am not good at memorizing. What's your style? Decide and act according to the event.
8. Test the Equipment beforehand
Technical difficulties at the last moment are not so uncommon. It really sucks. Remember the Apple September event in the year 2017, when they got stuck with their new model iPhone X. That was really embarrassing. In case of emergency, make sure you have backups to avoid any stress.
9. Feel the Environment before the Real Show
Make time to know the place where you are going to speak. Reach there 15-20 minutes before the event. Walk the venue and the stage. This will make you comfortable when the real show will begin.
10. Take a Deep Breath and Smile
Make it your personal mantra. Repeat it before your every business meeting and presentation. You might still get the adrenaline pumping, but it will help you to bring it into the right direction of your words. Having a mantra will hold you on your grounds. It works for me during interviews and investors meetings. Also, don’t forget to exercise, meditate or do some yoga. It will relax your nerves. People who do it have a sharp brain and a less stressed mind.
11. Deliver the first speech to the Mirror
Practicing speech in front of the mirror makes you aware of your gestures and body language. Do not forget to do this. It will improve your facial expressions as well as hand usage. Public speaking is not just about pouring words out of your mouth, indeed it is a mix of words and body language. Your words will convey the message, but your body language will emphasize the message.
12. Work on the Conclusion
Prepare your speech in a narrative style like in a movie. Make sure the audience is listening to you since the very beginning. Remember, their behavior depends on how you carry your words in your speech. Once you have control over their thoughts, lead them to the conclusion of the speech. Make them feel the part of your narration and tie their mind emotionally to your words.
Which of these, you think, is the most important element for Public Speaking?
How to Improve Your Personality through Presentation Skills?
Presentation skills are the foremost important aspect to make any communication sustainable and worth having. Most of the business presentation is delivered with multi-media resources. You should know how to carry yourself along with these tools, during the presentation. Here are a few tips that help you sound like a real business person:
1. Use Presentation as a Supporting tool
This is a common mistake that most of the rookies do, writing down everything in their powerpoint slides, which they have to speak. The motive of using presentation tools should be to complement your speech rather than replicating it. This ensures that the audience is attentive more to your words than the slides.
2. Overcome your Fluster
Conversational presentation is much more effective than just delivering it unidirectionally. After your presentation ends, be confident to answer the audience’s questions. It is possible that you might get questioned by an expert investor or an industrialist. Prepare in advance on how to tackle these situations. Here are a few tips:
- Do not hurry while answering
- Buy some time and ask them to go through previous slides
- Take a little break and gather your thoughts to answer relatively
In comparison to public speaking, presentation skills are generally easy to acquire due to its involvement in our education and daily work. It is a pre-prepared activity and takes not many efforts. On the other hand, public speaking is impromptu and can happen anywhere in any place.
The key is to stay confident, be smart and sophisticated enough to deal with every conversation. Even if you are unaware of a certain topic, be polite and ask them to elaborate. People will admire your request since you are taking an interest in their work.